Noma had been hatched way back in January when we all attended the Arztkammer Ball in Vienna. At the time it seemed like a dream with little certainty of becoming a reality. The steps involved in even getting a reservation seem daunting enough (a phone call placed between 10am-12pm on a prescribed day, three months ahead of your desired booking). Then there were the practicalities of getting to Denmark, the question of what to do with one (and then two) new babies and for some of us at least there was the question of whether it was really that good anyway. But we did manage to get a booking and since we all (yes, all four!) were on parental leave we could easily accommodate the midweek lunch booking we were offered.
And so we went and ate at the best restaurant in the world. Was it the best meal of my life? Probably not. But it was wonderful. A true performance. It was like watching a first-class ballet or opera the way the waiters and chefs danced around the room from table to table explaining their creations and encouraging the guests (us!) to enjoy good food prepared with love and an attention to detail found in few other kitchens.
If I had one criticism it would be that some of the dishes were just a little bit gimicky. The live (chilled) baby shrimp I could have done without and while it was great fun to cook one of the dishes ourselves (egg fried in hay infused oil cooked on hot plates at the table), it did, in the end taste a lot like a home-cooked fried egg. Fun, but not exactly haut cuisine. But everything else was fantastic - they didn't blink when we arrived with a newborn (who slept the whole time - bless her), the service was spot-on without being stuffy, we giggled with the waiters, enjoyed wonderful company and we left full and all glad that we'd all made the effort. And really that's what good meals are all about, aren't they?